Here's why there was never a Carol Burnett sitcom
The icon on why she's better suited for sketch comedy.
That Socrates was really onto something when he said "Know thyself." He probably said some other good stuff, too, but "know thyself" might just be the best piece of advice dispensed by anyone in ancient Greece.
It's all right there. Don't just know your limits or your flaws, know yourself in totality. Because it's easy to know your strengths, but knowing one's weaknesses is a great way to avoid embarrassment. You have to know which parts of yourself to work on, and which parts won't serve you well no matter what.
Carol Burnett is someone who knows exactly who she is. She's a performer who taps into something special and childlike, not just in herself, but in all of us.
Knowing who she is means that Burnett knows she is preternaturally suited for sketch comedy.
"I love to stick wigs on and be different people," Burnett told the Hartford Courant in 1990. "Basically, I guess if I wanted to describe what I enjoy the most, it's being a musical-comedy performer. That to me is just the most fun."
This understanding of who she was meant that Burnett wasn't afraid to turn down the professional offers that just didn't suit her, regardless of whether they would've boosted her career in some supposedly meaningful way.
"I'd been getting offers to do half-hour situation comedies where I would play the same character every week," Burnett recalled.
"That's just not my background or my training. What I did on The Gary Moore Show and on my show for 11 years, that to me is just the most fun."
Throughout her whole life, Burnett would strive to capture "that same feeling of being a little kid getting all dressed up and pretending to be somebody else."
But pretending to be the same person week after week just didn't suit who she knew she was.